Thursday, March 11, 2010

Food For Thought Friday

I read a ton of blogs – mostly about home décor or libraries. This post is inspired by a link I encountered on one of the library blogs I read regularly. So, no décor eye candy, but some pretty cool food for thought. The link takes you to an article from Now and Next, a site all about future trends and predictions. The article is a list of ten trends for 2010, along with some other cool stuff. If graphs aren’t your thing, skip to about page 10 or so of the article. I found the whole article pretty interesting, but three of the trends seemed particularly hopeful to me and caught my attention.

Trend 7 - Digital Isolation
“Did you know that the average Facebook user has 130 friends? Great. But did you also know that research by sociologists at the University of Arizona and Duke University North Carolina (US) has found that Americans have fewer real friends? What’s a real friend? Back in 1985 the average American had three people to talk to about their problems. Now the figure is just two.”

So initially, this trend sounds depressing, but the author predicts that these feelings of isolation will drive people to reconnect with friends in real life and spend more face2face time with people. I hope so! I can see how facebook has left me feeling less connected. I know a lot of things about my friends, but I spend very, very little time actually interacting with my friends in a meaningful way. I truly hope 2010 will be the year of many dinners, game nights, and quality time with the people I love!
Like these people! and so many other dear friends, and friends I haven't even met yet!
Trend 8 - Flight to the Physical
"Browsing thousands of movie titles online is all very well but spending half an hour in a well-run video store is somehow more satisfying. Accidental encounters with other customers, or serendipitous conversations with passionate staff, are both richer experiences than sitting in front of a PC or fiddling with a mobile phone. The same is true with public libraries."
I love my Netflix, but I get this. Brad and I had a very nice conversation last weekend with the other people in the Geek Squad line at Best Buy. We shared our experiences and our frustrations and we all felt better afterwards. One lady even caught up with us in the store an hour later because she wanted to see how our computer saga turned out. I’ve had similar experience in the craft store and yes, the library.

Trend 9 - Hunger for shared experiences
"Examples of shared experiences? Live music is a very good example. We are downloading music files, movies and now books but all these can be strangely sterile experiences. Perhaps this is why live music festivals, cinema going, theatre going, book clubs and writer’s festivals are all booming."
Have you noticed that comedies are even funnier in the theater? I think it has something to do with all those other people laughing along with you. Scary movies are scarier and action flicks are more of an adrenaline rush. I don’t think this has anything to do with the size of the screen. And seriously, hearing your favorite band in person with a crowd of fans? Yeah, your ipod will never top that!

I hope these trends turn out to be true, because they all call for an increase in community. I think we all crave community, perhaps even more so in times when the world around us feels a little uncertain.

So, there’s your Friday food for thought. Let me know if you’d like me to sprinkle in more thought-provoking posts, I’m nerdy enough to really love this kind of thing!


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